UPDATE: Bacteriological Laboratory Changes for
Very Small Communities
January 2016: MDH is determining
the feasibility of this change and it will NOT go into effect for at
least another year. Very Small Communities should continue with their
process as usual. If you have questions, please call the Minnesota
Department of Health at 651-201-4600.
Changes for Very Small Communities
January 1, 2016, community public water systems (PWSs) serving fewer
than 1,000 people will be assigned the MDH Public Health Laboratory
(PHL) in St. Paul for quarterly bacteriological analyses. PWS
operators should prepare for logistical changes as well as likely
increases in shipping costs and sample rejections.
The MDH PHL
will continue to provide sample kits, mailers, and analysis of water
samples at no cost. Instructions for sample collection and mailing
will be provided. PWS operators will notice a change in sample bottle
volume as the PHL transitions to using 150 milliliter (mL),
double-fill-line bottles (shown below). However, as before, PWSs are
free to choose to use (and pay for) a private, certified laboratory
instead of the PHL. In those cases, the chosen labs must have the
ability to report results electronically to the MDH.
shipping will be necessary to ensure samples arrive at the PHL within
24 hours of sample collection so they can be analyzed within the
required 30-hour hold time. Shipping costs will continue to be the
responsibilities of PWSs. The combination of larger distances from a
designated laboratory and faster shipping requirements are expected to
increase shipping expenses for these community PWSs.
addition, sample rejection rates are expected to increase due to
samples not meeting the 30-hour hold time. The affected PWSs are
encouraged to take the following steps to prepare for this change:
*Determine a best shipping method that can deliver samples to the
MDH PHL within 30 hours.
*Thoroughly read the MDH PHL chain of
custody forms and instructions upon receipt in December 2015.
*Inspect and become familiar with bottles required for MDH PHL sample
*Prepare for occasional replacement samples in
schedules and budgets.
Reprinted from Minnesota Department of Health Waterline
newsletter, Winter 2015-2016 issue.
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